Popular Old Windsor Destinations

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About Old Windsor

The pretty little town of Windsor is located in Berkshire, right on the south bank of the River Thames, 22 miles west of the center of London. The name is thought to originate from old English Windles-ore or Windlesora, which means, “winch by the riverside”. The village was originally was simply called Windsor, until the currently larger town of New Windsor that is about 3 miles from the village was given the name. Windsor’s first mention is recorded in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. Old Windsor is just about a 5-minute drive from Windsor and 20 minutes away from London Heathrow Airport. The closest railway station is at Datchet and is less than 3 miles, or 5 kilometers away. As the oldest Saxon town in Berkshire, Old Windsor held much significance as it was the seat of Edward the Confessor. It sustained its importance up until about 1100, when the construction of Windsor Castle two miles upstream slowly dominated it. Old Windsor was also the location of a central palace of the Saxon Kings. The settlement is recognized as a defended royal manor in the time of Edward the Confessor; however, there is archaeological proof proposes royal connections had existed since at least the 9th century. The Saxon royal site was excavated between 1953 and 1958, and the finds are at Reading Museum. Edward gave away the manor to the Abbot of Westminster in 1066, but William the Conqueror took it back into royal possession shortly. Old Windsor was popular with the monarch because of its convenient location near to the river for transport and Windsor Forest for hunting. Old Windsor was also an early minster location and market, probably associated with a lock, and mill complex near the river. The Norman Windsor Castle, at ‘New’ Windsor, eventually superseded the Saxon palace. The medieval manor house, nonetheless, became a popular royal hunting lodge whereas the castle was still a fortress. With its quaint old half-timbered houses, twisting alleyways, and cobblestone streets, Old Windsor presents a picturesque medieval look.

Things to do, places to see

Windsor Castle

This grand castle was built on top of a chalk hill. Windsor Castle has functioned as the summer residence of British Royals for over 900 years. It is considered to be one of Britain's most beautiful abodes. It is also the largest tenanted castle in the world. It was constructed by William the Conqueror here in 1078, and over the years has been further expanded by many monarchs. Windsor Castle is enjoyable to explore at a laid-back pace, and including its spectacular grounds, the site spans nearly 13 acres. The attractions comprise of the splendid St. George's Chapel that was the traditional home of the twenty-six Knights and Ladies of the olden Order of the Garter, along with the State Apartments containing the magnificently decorated Queen's Gallery and dining hall. There is the lovely Great Park, which spreads out along the south side of the castle for near six miles, while the estate is was also the final resting place of Queen Victoria's adored husband, Albert.

Windsor Festival and Theatre Royal

The yearly Windsor Festival is organized each autumn from the middle of September to early October with regular events in locations such as the Waterloo Chamber, Windsor Castle, Eton College Chapel and St. George's Hall. Since its commencement in 1969, the festival has offered orchestral, choral, organ, and chamber concerts, beside dance recitals and talks. International performers are often requested to perform a selection of classical works. Culture enthusiasts will also want to check out the performances at Theatre Royal. Just a little way off from Windsor Castle, the venue holds everything from live music to theatrical productions and is also thought to be one of the best theaters outside of London's West End.

Dorney Court

Dorney Court is well worth a visit and is a relaxed six-mile drive west of Windsor's town center. “Dorney” is the ancient Saxon word that means “island of bees” and the country estate remains well-known for its honey which is still made to this day. It is considered to be one of the best remaining examples of Tudor style construction in England. The same family has occupied this mansion, which is over five hundred years old, during the course of its rich history. Highlights on the inside include many fine paintings and portraits, tapestries and silks, old furniture, tastefully carved wooden paneling, and more, as well as a tearoom, of course. On your visit there, be sure to stop at the nearby Dorney Lake, which is a man-made rectangular lake designed especially for rowers to train for their sport. Whether you are visiting from London or other parts of England, do not forget to bring a picnic and spend a relaxing day here along with the nature!

Windsor and Royal Borough Museum

Located on High Street right in the town's striking Guildhall that was built in 1689, the Windsor and Royal Borough Museum makes a really good addition to any plans when traveling to Windsor! The museum focuses on the history of both the town and its surrounding lands, with the museum's large collection comprising of artifacts that date as far back as the Ice Age to the present era. Highlights include a fine assortment of prehistoric tools, relics from the Bronze Age and the Saxon and Roman periods, and an abundance of items associated with the town's Victorian prime. Those who take an interest in the Royal Family may also be fascinated by taking a guided tour of the area, with the additional chance to view the Ascot Room where Prince Charles married Camilla Parker-Bowles.

Vacation rentals at Old Windsor, England

This picturesque medieval town with its old houses and winding roads is perfect for a wanderer with a love for peace and nature. With CuddlyNest, you can find the best vacation rentals for your vacation and have the most comfortable stay. Choose from a wide selection and make the most of your vacation!

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